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Thread: Outside Faucet Replacement

  1. #1

    Default Outside Faucet Replacement

    We have a 45 year old rambler in Alderwood, WA--I was looking into replacing the two exterior water faucets (used for lawn watering, car washing, etc.). I went under the crawlspace and could not locate the pipes leading to the faucets. To the best of my knowledge, they are located in a wall. I looked at the new faucets at Lowe's and noticed they are all designed with threads at the end of the faucet assemply that connect to the main supply pipe (copper in our case). Seems pretty simple. My question is, does anyone out there know if these types of faucets were used in construction in 1960? I am not sure if the existing ones are original. I don't want to attempt removing the old faucets until I am fairly sure the old ones can be removed by turning with a large wrench. Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Bothell, Washington
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    More than likely, you have frost proof faucets that are six inches long.
    The connection would be in an inside wall.
    Since this home is piped with copper, you must cut the wall and use two wrenches to R&R the faucet.
    If you can't buy the exact same length, you may have to do some soldering.


  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default faucet

    A picture of the faucet would help tremendously in giving you an answer.

  4. #4


    Thanks, Terry--I had a feeling it involved opening up a wall.

  5. #5

    Default Outside Faucet Replacement

    I'm in process of replacing my outside faucet since I left a hose connected and it appears the pipe in the wall burst.

    From the previous post "Since this home is piped with copper, you must cut the wall and use two wrenches to R&R the faucet." - From inside the house I can see the threads and where the faucet pipe is screwed into the threads.

    When you say use two wrenches do you mean from the inside use two wrenches to unscrew the faucet pipe from the supply line?

    Is it then really as simple as putting some teflon tape on a new one and screwing it in?



  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    New England


    Yep...one wrench on the part inside so you don't try to twist the pipe, and the second one to unscrew the faucet. Either some teflon or pipe dope (or both) and reverse the process and you've got a new faucet.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7

    Default Outside Faucet

    Thanks Jim

    After a closer look at the pipe it appears that supply pipe is sweated into faucet pipe rather than threaded into an adapter on the supply side. Too bad for me since soldering is one of my least favorite things to do.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    I think you're right about the faucet pipe being soldered to the supply. Usually the faucet pipe is screwed into a female adapter which is soldered to the supply line. That's why the advice about two wrenches. One is to twist the faucet pipe and the other is to hold the connector on the supply line so that it doesn't twist the supply line. I learned about not leaving a hose connected to the frost free faucet in the winter the same way you did. Fortunately, mine is fairly easy to access from the basement.

  10. #10


    shut of the water to the silcock and drain it by turning it on. most homes around here have a seperate valve to turn off the silcocks, failing this shut off the water behind the meter, leave the silcock open to disapate heat. use a mapp torch to heat the solder joint... when it becomes molten (be careful for drips, you can start a fire) use your two channel locks, one as close to the wall as possible and the other on the opposite side of the solder joint, to pull and twist the existing silcock out. clean the copper stub and the new silcock up, and re solder. turn water back on, check for leaks job complete

  11. #11

    Default Job Done

    Job Done

    I made sure I had a good size openning cut out in the drywall to work with before firing up the torch. I cleared out all the insulation material and plastic vapor barrier. I then lined the openning with a few layers of heavy duty foil. I figured it was worth it to spend some extra time on insurance to prevent a fire.

    I was not able to melt the solder until I realized there was water left in the line. I removed the guts from the bad faucet and mopped up the water by pushing a rag through from the outside. I also tried the bread trick but I don't know if that helped in this situation. Anyway, once the water was out, the propane torch had no problem melting the solder and the old faucet came out real easy. [There was a pronounced tear in the copper caused by freezing.]

    On the new faucet box it says to open the valve to prevent damage to the rubber inside if sweating on the faucet. Another procedure I found at This Old House suggested removing the guts to prevent rubber damage. Since I don't have much experience soldering I played it safe and removed the guts.

    After putting things back together - no leaks. Just in case I made a trap door rather than patching the wall.

    In the future I'll make sure the hose is removed before winter.

    Last edited by Terry; 09-05-2009 at 05:25 PM.


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